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951Re: [SWFLBirdline] Possible Black-headed Gull at Sanibel toll booth area, 2 Jan 06

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  • Charlie Ewell
    Jan 3, 2006

      I had a chance to speak to the visiting birder today, now back home, and get
      some specifics on the possible BH Gull. He had close, direct comparisons to
      nearby Laughing Gulls with the sun behind him and the aid of a Leica scope. He
      described the size as smaller, the mantle lighter gray, the bill smaller and red
      with a black tip, and the head pattern was cleaner and included the two thin and
      distinctive black markings of a BH Gull/Bonaparte's type gull, not the
      smudgy-like, less distinctive markings of a Laughing Gull in basic plumage

      His concern is that w/o seeing the bird in flight, it would turn out to be an
      aberrant Bonaparte's Gull. An aberrant Laughing Gull was not a possibility in
      his opinion.

      My first description was based on a quick conversation, so I apologize if it
      lacked the depth of this post. Rightly after the many aberrant LAGU in FL this
      fall, a few folks were curious if this gull could be possibly be one of those.


      Charlie Ewell
      Cape Coral, FL

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Charlie Ewell" <Anhinga42@...>
      To: "SWFLBirdline" <SWFLBirdline@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 8:46 PM
      Subject: [SWFLBirdline] Possible Black-headed Gull at Sanibel toll booth area, 2
      Jan 06


      Birders in the Lee County/Ft Myers area may want to keep an eye out for a
      possible Black-headed Gull reported to me by a visiting birder this morning,
      Monday, 2 Jan 06.

      The gull was seen on the exposed mudflats between 9:30 and 10:00 AM just before
      the Sanibel Causeway toll both (when approaching from Ft Myers) on the left. A
      couple of us checked later in the day, but did not relocate the gull. When I
      was able to check the area later in the day, the tide was up and no mudflats
      were exposed. I also checked the causeway after the toll, as this has often
      been a popular roost area for gulls and terns, but very few were present. While
      the tide is low, Bunche Beach would also be worth checking. This area is
      located at the west end of John Morris Rd., which is three traffic lights before
      the toll both (not counting the light immediately before the toll booth).

      The gull was very well described as a basic plumaged adult having a red bill
      with a small amount of black, red legs, a trace of black markings on the head,
      and smaller than the Laughing Gulls it was loosely associated with. The birder
      has experience with both Black-headed Gull and Bonaparte's Gull. He would have
      liked to have seen the underwings in flight to be 100% sure, but the bird
      remained standing while he observed it. He eliminated Bonaparte's and Little
      Gull because in adult basic they do not have red bills and legs, so he feels
      very good about the ID, but hopes someone can follow-up and confirm it.


      Charlie Ewell
      Arlyne Salcedo
      Cape Coral, FL

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